Home Update: Virginia Tech student talks with authorities in Missouri, case considered closed
Public Safety, Virginia

Update: Virginia Tech student talks with authorities in Missouri, case considered closed

Chris Graham
johnny roop virginia tech
Johnny Roop. Photo: Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office

Authorities in Missouri made contact on Friday with Virginia Tech student Johnny Roop, who had been reported missing by his family on Feb. 16.

“Mr. Roop was by himself when the encounter took place and fully answered questions presented by law enforcement. Based on this personal interaction, Mr. Roop is no longer considered missing, and subsequently the investigation into his disappearance is being closed,” the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reported in a news release issued on Saturday.

Roop, 21, a senior at Virginia Tech, was reported missing after failing to show up on Feb. 16 at his parents’ home in Abingdon as he had planned.

He was reportedly headed to his parents’ home to take an online exam.

Roop was eventually tracked down to a Starbucks in Poplar Bluff, Mo., on Wednesday afternoon, and according to a report, he left the coffee shop alone after being identified by an employee.

Local law enforcement in Poplar Bluff was alerted and searched, unsuccessfully, for Roop, and continued their search for him on Thursday.

With the case now considered closed by authorities, the circumstances around what has happened with Roop in the past week are still a matter of concern for his family.

“They located my brother. That does not mean he’s safe. We still have no clue what’s going on with his mental health and what he will end up doing,” his stepsister, Aleah McFarlane, posted on social media on Saturday.

“I know that something is wrong with his mental state,” McFarlane said. “We don’t know what his end game is. We do know he was acting very strange with the police officer and was hesitant to interact with them. He could have told the officer to tell us ‘to leave him alone’ if that’s what he wanted, and we would have accepted that. He did not even comment on the fact that he was considered missing and that we were desperate to know he’s at least OK. So, this is still extremely strange, and we are still heartbroken and terrified for his safety.”

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].